Cork's Finn's Corner set to leave safe hands of family after four generations

Cork's Finn's Corner set to leave safe hands of family after four generations

A Cork City landmark premises, Finn’s Corner, and associated with four generations of the Finn family including former Irish and Munster rugby international Moss Finn, who’s a co-director, has been put up for sale, either as an investment or for new owner-occupier use.

The prominent five-storey corner property is at the junction of Washington St and Grand Parade, facing the redeveloped Capitol cinema site, now an office/retail mix which is home to Facebook company VR Oculus, as well as to TK Maxx’s Home Sense.

Along with Singer’s Corner to the south, Finn’s Corner helps to define the city end of Washington St, and adjoins the 1940s built St Augustine’s Church and priory, the second church built here since the 18th century for the order.

Not quite as long in the area, nonetheless the Finn family have notably been in the clothing and retail business for four generations to date, with the business currently headed up by brothers William Finn and Moss Finn, as co-directors.

Finn’s Corner is a noted business, specialising in leisure wear, specialist uniforms and safety items for trades and professions, and sports wear and protective equipment.

The sports range obviously includes rugby, and the building may have been considered a shrine for some given its connection to the sport’s own local hero Moss Finn. Multi-capped, he played rugby for UCC, Ireland and Munster, and was the youngest member of the Munster team which so famously defeated the All Blacks 12-0 in 1978 in Thomond Park.

The family declined to comment on the proposed sale of the dual access building at 79/80 Grand Parade, and on 51/52 Washington St.

The brothers “may consider retiring”, suggesed estate agent Seamus Costello of Cushman & Wakefield, who’s now charged with selling the property, when contacted by the Irish Examiner. Mr Costello declined to quote a guide price for the building which is listed as “price on application” online.

However, other property sources say there’s already good interest and offers being made on Finn’s Corner and they suggest the value range is in the region of €1.5m, with local investor interest, as well as inquiries from further afield.

Moss Finn standing outside the shop
Moss Finn standing outside the shop

The five-storey property extends to almost 6,000sq ft, and was substantially rebuilt in the 1990s.

It has a very high footfall, feeding as it does into Washington St and on towards UCC.

Nearby traders include a number of cafes and restaurants, an adjoining Centra at McHugh House, Argos, Dealz, Home Sense, Soho, Singers (which was briefly on the market a number of years ago), McDonalds by Daunts Square, Lifestyle Sports, Lloyds and Phelans pharmacies, and the English Market.

It’s also close to the city’s historic Court House on Washington Street, and to the Coal Quay/Cornmarket Street.

Cushman & Wakefield say the retail property with extensive glazing frontage to Grand Parade will suit a wide mix of possible new users, and investors. It has over 1,000sq ft on each of its levels and the four-bay section at 79/80 Grand Parade is 19th century in origin, while the other portion at 51/52 Washington St was reconstructed in the 1990s.

At the other end of the block past St Augustine’s priory is the long-established clothing retailer Mannix & Culhane, proposed for redevelopment in the 2000s, and a property where the upper levels were removed, and which has continued to trade since.

Meanwhile, further along Washington St a new professional office user is expected to arrive next week, when architects’ firm Jack Coughlan Associates relocates from Sunday’s Well to Courthouse Chambers.

DETAILS: Cushman & Wakefield 021-4275454

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